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Title: Reforming metaphorical theology? : a critical assessment of the works of Sallie McFague in the light of her respondents
Author: Hainsworth, Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 583X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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McFague’s contributions to theology span over 40 years. Does her theological project, which aims to reform the Christian tradition, retain the coherence and consistency needed to fulfil this aim today? Surprisingly, McFague's body of work remains coherent, consistent and viable after many years of debate in relation to her own aims and methods and the responses of critics. However her theology can, in places, be strengthened in meeting its aim by an integration of more recent research or the work of her respondents. Developments in her thought over time remain generally consistent with her earlier work. Analysis of the basic categories of her thought shows a unity of form and content and an underlying conceptual unity. The models McFague advances are consistent as expressions of her stated method and aims. They perform the tasks set for them, if not always by the means she describes. Again the importance of the conceptual level proves greater than McFague allows. The coherence and consistency of the greater part of her work is weaker in its interaction with the Christian tradition. Her position on this has changed most over time. Work remains to be done on integrating her models with traditional ones. Despite her own judgements, this integration is desirable to maximise the reform of that tradition as she wishes and for her theology most naturally to be seen as reforming rather than revolutionary. But overall, McFague's work makes a valuable contribution to contemporary theology. She expounds coherent, original metaphorical models addressing contemporary concerns and a coherent theoretical framework that has largely withstood the scrutiny of respondents and developments in her field. Within this framework models may be created and assessed in creative tension with Christian tradition. However this relationship with the tradition remains to be deepened, strengthened and clarified by future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; BT Doctrinal Theology